Brian Peters has a lot of memories of the provincial AA basketball championships' time in Kamloops, but he has very simple goals for this year's last hurrah.
"We want to finish on a strong note," said Peters at the tournament's annual press conference. "For 15 years, we've been very lucky, knock on wood, that we haven't had any major problems, and our goal is to get through it again."
The provincial championships will run Wednesday through March 10 at the Tournament Capital Centre and TRU Gym.
This year's tournament will be the last for Kamloops, as future provincial events will be consolidated and held on the Lower Mainland. Kamloops has played host to the tournament since 1998, first at Interior Savings Centre and TRU Gym, and now at the TCC and TRU.
Peters, the tournament co-chairman, has been on board since the start, as have a lot of his volunteers. There are around 150 adults who help out with the tournament, with a similar number of students pitching in as well.
"It's surprising how many (volunteers) have been with us 10-15 years," Peters said. "I'll bet you two-thirds of them have helped at 10 of the last 14 tournaments. It's amazing.
"The (organizing) committee, I'll say there's seven or eight of us who have been with us for the whole 15 years, and 13 who have been here the last 10."
Peters' co-chair for the tournament is Lindsey Karpluk, whose oldest son, Nicolas, is an assistant coach with the Sa-Hali Sabres boys team. Sa-Hali earned a host berth and will open Wednesday against Mills Bay-Brentwood College.
Nicolas Karpluk is disappointed to see the tournament, in this form, ending.
"I'm so sad to see it go," he said. "But regardless of what happens on the scoreboard, we're going to put on a good show for four games.
"To some, it's just provincials, but to all the coaches, especially the Sa-Hali ones, it's really special and important that we show one last hurrah in Kamloops."
Sa-Hali has owned the West Zone for the past six years, with its boys and girls teams winning their way into provincials each season.
The Sabres girls will open against the Vancouver-Windsor Dukes on Wednesday.
"We want to go out and leave a good mark (on the tournament)," said senior guard Taylor MacDonald. "We want everyone to know that Sa-Hali has hosted forever and has done well."
Throughout the years, there have been a lot of great moments and a lot of great basketball. And, as sad as everyone is to see it go, there won't be a big ceremony after Saturday's finals.
"It'll be similar to other years - we're not going to make a big deal out of it," Peters said. "It's not the end of AA basketball, they're just moving the tournament to a different facility."